Saturday evening’s P.E.I. Tankard ‘C’ Qualifier will feature a rematch of a provincial men’s curling championship opening draw game.
John Likely, who won the events ‘A’ qualifier on Thursday will meet Darren Higgins Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Western Community Curling Club in Alberton. Higgins, who lost his first two games of the modified triple knock-out championship, including a 6-4 setback to Likely on Wednesday, has now won two in a row. He eliminated P.E.I junior champion Tyler Smith from the competition Saturday morning with an 8-2 win. Smith stole a single in the first end, but, after blanking the second, Higgins scored three in the third and was up 6-1 at the midway break after steals in the fourth and fifth. Smith scored a single in the sixth but he conceded the game after Higgins scored singles in each of the next two ends.
Likely advanced to the ‘C’ Qualifier with a 5-4 win over ‘B’ Qualifier winner and defending Tankard champion Eddie MacKenzie Saturday morning. A three in the fifth was key to the win, giving Likely a 4-1 lead at the break. MacKenzie reduced the lead to 403 with a deuce in the eighth after two blank ends. Likely made it 503 in the ninth and MacKenzie had to settle for a single point in the tenth when a deuce was needed to force an extra end.
With two losses, MacKenzie drops into Sunday’s play-off bracket to face either Higgins or Likely.
If Likely, now 4-1, wins the ‘C’ Qualifier, he would need to be beaten twice Sunday by MacKenzie to be denied the provincial title. If Higgins wins, then Higgins, Likely and MacKenzie would all advance to Sunday’s two-game playoff. Pay-off games Sunday are at 9 a.m. and, if necessary, 2 p.m.
The P.E.I. Scotties women’s ‘C’ Qualifier also goes Saturday at 7, the participants to be decided in todays’s 2 p.m. draw where Suzanne Birt is playing Sarah Fullerton and Melissa Morrow is up against Veronica Smith. Catch up on women's 'B' Qualifier hereAs the respective ‘A’ and ‘B’ Qualifier winners, Smith and Fullerton, both with 4-1 records, have already earned a berth in Sunday’s play-off but Birt (2-2) and Morrow (3-2) would need to post two consecutive wins to join them there.